All this talk about the recession and unemployment has made people continually think gloomy thoughts. However, entrepreneurs cannot afford to get cold feet. Part of running a business is making calls and taking risks. So how exactly will entrepreneurs react to 2011?
GrowBiz Media as well as online survey company Zoomerang decided to ask owners of small and medium sized businesses themselves whether they plan to invest more in marketing. The results of the survey generally point towards an increase in spending for marketing strategies that involve the use of the internet, e-mail and social media.
According to the survey, a third of the business owners who were part of the survey have already been using social media in marketing. Among all the social media websites, Facebook is the most popular among these entrepreneurs and is used by 80 percent of small and medium sized businesses. Facebook is followed by LinkedIn which is used by 37 percent of the respondents and then Twitter with 27 percent. Naturally, the entrepreneurs who were made much use of social media for their marketing efforts were the younger ones. However, entrepreneurs who are aged 50 to 60 rely heavily on Facebook while their younger counterparts are more eager on utilizing multiple social media sites including the up and coming ones like Foursquare, Gowalla and Groupon.
Although websites have become almost essential in business, only 54 percent of the surveys respondents actually have company websites. Of those who do have websites, 80 percent of them make use of their sites to provide potential and existing customers information while 45 percent utilize their websites for customer service. Only 30 percent of the respondents make use of their websites for ecommerce and a meager 13 percent blog despite its proven effectiveness.
The survey has gathered that respondents aim to increase their web marketing spends by 17 percent, direct mail by 15 percent, email marketing by 15 percent, social media marketing by 13 percent, print ads by 10 percent and local ads by 9 percent.
A trend that the survey has uncovered is the use of word of mouth marketing with 86 percent of the respondents attesting to the strategy’s necessity. 70 percent of the respondents make use of “in-person” marketing while 34 percent make use of social media to connect with their customers. Event marketing and public speaking are used by 21 and 20 percent of the respondents, respectively.
Chris Marentis writes from experience about lead generation, closing the sale and leveraging social media. He is the founder and CEO for a local internet marketing company Surefire Social, a resource for local search marketing